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3. Children who obey him Titus 1:6
This particular qualification is stated two different ways. 1 Timothy 3:4 says the elder must "see that his children obey him with proper respect." Titus 1:6 is more specific: "a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient."These verses arefrighteningly specific. I say that in full view of the fact that I have three boys living at home-ages 13, 11 and 8. The challenge today is to raise godly children in a world that constantly pulls in the opposite direction. We arenít told how the father is to do this, but we are told what the results will look like:
1. Children who believe (or it may mean faithful to the parents).
2. Children who obey.
3. Children who show proper respect.
4. Children who are not wild.
5. Children who are not disobedient.
One or two points deserve special mention. Heís probably not speaking of young children, and possibly not even of teenagers. He may be envisioning
grown children who have already left the home and gone out on their own. Certainly that is the only way to get a long-range view of how the children have turned out. I look at my own three boys and say, "So far,
so good." But weíve got a long way to go.
The word "wild" is literally "unsaved." It means to live an "unsaved" lifestyle. It refers to a wild, indulgent, immoral and debauched way of life-one that is typical of the surrounding pagan community. More than that, the word speaks of excessive lewdness as a pattern of life. Children make many mistakes in the course of life, but those raised in a godly home will be inclined toward righteousness. Some will try drugs,
many will rebel, many will be trapped by immorality, some will seek abortions, others will break the law, but the seeds of a godly heritage will eventually bear fruit along the way.
1. An elder should be a model father.
2. No one can raise "perfect" children who never make mistakes.
3. The godly man never gives up on his children.
4. Wild and disobedient children reflect badly on a fatherís ability to guide others.
5. How a father responds to a crisis in his family reveals much about his ability to handle crisis in the church.
A godly leader takes great care with his children knowing that they are his single greatest contribution to the world. One writer describes the
ideal father this way:
"His firmness makes it advisable for the child to obey."
"His wisdom makes it natural for the child to obey."
"His love makes it a pleasure for the child to obey."
Do your children respect you enough to submit to your leadership? If so, then you are an excellent candidate for leadership in the local church.
The ideal or perfect leader has a family that is committed to Jesus Christ, where the husband loves his wife and the wife is dedicated to her husbandís spiritual leadership, where the grown children love Jesus Christ and love and respect their father. Thatís the picture! Itís takes time to build a family like this and it takes a father with the discipline and desire to see it happen. But itís worth it in the end.
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